Night Blooming Cactus Heart Tincture
Recently I found that Selenicereus, a large night blooming cactus in my own backyard, has medicinal value. It mostly acts on the heart and central nervous system, but is also a mild diuretic.
I've had heart troubles(tachycardia), that I believe were lyme related magnesium depletion ... Instead of blood pressure or heart meds, I took hot peppers and seriously increased my *magnesium*. Since then have not had any heart trouble.
Still I thought these beautiful night bloomers might be worth looking into. Many times their blossoms have come and gone overnight, but this time I collected a few and made a tincture. I cut up 2 blossoms w/stems and covered them with vodka, but I think vinegar could also be used... In 2 weeks I'll strain it through cheescloth for the finish.
Selenicereus grandiflorus, Hylocereus undatus, Peniocereus greggii, Cereus greggii (Night Blooming Cactus)
Parts Used: Herb and Stem
Peniocerol, viperidone, desoxyviperidone, viperidinone, Beta sitosterol
Cardio-tonic, anti-arrhythmic, mild diuretic
The specific indications, according to Felter, are “impaired heart action, whether feeble, irregular or tumultuous; cardiac disorders with mental depression, precordial oppression, and apprehension of danger and death; nervous disorders with feeble heart action; tobacco-heart; hysteria with enfeebled circulation; vertex headache, vaso-motor spasms”. (Page 253)
The tonic effect is caused by the cardiac glycosides. This plant has a positive inotropic effect, but does not cause a negative chronotropic effect. It acts on the central nervous system, enhancing the output to the cardiac plexus. In large therapeutic dose, it will accelerate a slow heart rate. It reduces cardiac arrhythmia and paroxysmal tachycardia that is secondary to altered nervous stimulation and weakness of the myocardium. It is specific for vague chest pain and shortness of breath, especially if caused by abuse of caffeine and tobacco products. It is also indicated for depression as a secondary reaction to stress. Cactus is known as a cardio-tonic because it normalizes the heart rhythm by modulating sympathetic output. It has neither a stimulant or sedative effect, rather it normalizes cardiac function. It is indicated in valvular disorders of the heart when there is an associated arrhythmia. It may be used to treat endocarditis , pericarditis, and cardiac weakness after over-exertion or chest discomfort associated with menstruation. It may also be used to treat a weakened heart with renal congestion. It has a mild diuretic action. It may also be used to treat bronchitis with rapid, shallow breathing and a dry, tight sensation across the chest according to Michael Moore.
Tachycardia, arrhythmia, cardio-spasm, mental confusion, violent throbbing headaches, vertigo, hyperesthesea, amblyopia, gastrointestinal upset, quickened pulse, chest constriction, noise sensitivity, sadness and paranoia following depression, pericarditis. (Brinker, The Toxicology of Botanical Medicines, 24)
Tincture (1:5): 1-2 ml TID